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In Memoriam 2014 – Part 1

In Memoriam 2014 - Part 1

Well, this post may well need to be broken up into a few parts due to the number of people I had heard about who had passed away this year. This year also marks the 100th anniversary of the end of World War I. Phil Everly ...

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Facts About Canada

Facts About Canada

I have some things to say in response to Mark Rayner's article, as personal reflections. BTW, Rayner did the usual good write-up job with these kinds of articles. But you know, I can't read these kinds of "What is a Canadian" article without making a ...

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The Obfuscation of Electronics: The Behringer Xenyx 502

The Obfuscation of Electronics: The Behringer Xenyx 502

This is more like a meta-review. I have gone to Canada Computes where nearly the entire Behringer line is sold, and was impressed by the specs. But does it do what I want, the way I want it? I face a number of obstacles, being a ...

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Fortune Cookies for Human Rights

Fortune Cookies for Human Rights

You know, I was minding my own business in this classy Chinese restaurant, engorging myself on their copious buffet, had my fill, and was handed the bill with an accompanying fortune cookie. This fortune cookie (the one to the left) really existed, and I never saw ...

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T-Shirts I’d like to see

T-Shirts I'd like to see

The following image is rumored to exist on recent T-shirts, the latest of many "Che" fashion statements: ... well, at least something like it. I haven't seen it on any shirt, but some are saying that they saw it on some people at one time. But ...

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What is old is new: RPN on the HP 35s Scientific Calculator

What is old is new: RPN on the HP 35s Scientific Calculator

When I comment on technology, I like to discuss the good and the bad about it. I don't sell calculators, and I don't get freebies to review. That gives me the freedom to freely comment. One has to admit that for HP to sell a $90 ...

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Microphones

I had decided to do my little contribution to society, and join LibriVox.org, and record a free audio file for them. My biggest problem so far has been microphones. I have an Optimus mike that was purchased 5 years ago, and had hardly been used. ...

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Microphones Part 2: The war of silence

With the levels down so low, my test recording needed post-processing. I used Adobe Audition 1.5. In most of these audio-doctoring softwares, all you need to do is to normalize the levels, so that "0" is the highest your levels should go. Audition had a ...

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Getting f(x) notation to work in Maple

Getting f(x) notation to work in Maple

Maple is a robust math environment which can graph, solve equations, and solve for the unknown with the aid of its computer algebra solver (CAS), which is capable of computing exact roots of cubic functions, for example. I wanted to demonstrate for myself that Maple could ...

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Zero

Once upon a time, around the year 525 during the reign of Pope John I, a monk named Dionysius invented the idea of Anno Domini by producing a calendar which marked the time since the birth of Christ. The numbering of the years was adopted ...

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Kudos to the 1050 CHUM Memorial Blog

Kudos to the 1050 CHUM Memorial Blog

Recently, I've been hit (my website that is) by someone possibly checking his plethora of links from his/her website, and when I back-traced it, I find this cool blog which acts as a convincing historical shrine to the late great 1050 CHUM Radio in Toronto. ...

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The bad optics of playing the “bully” card for Margaret Trudeau

Yes, I know the context. Margaret said what she said in the grander context of negative politics, using her son as an example.

The CBC article online today grabbed my attention: “Attacks on Justin Trudeau ‘straight out bullying,’ says mom Margaret“. That, and the illustration just conveyed the worst possible image of a mother doting on her grown son, who needs to stand on his own as an independent politician.

It plays into the Conservative image of trying to dissuade voters from Trudeau because of his young age. The truth is that Harper was 43 when he took over the Reform-Alliance Party, and he was almost that age when he first became Prime Minister. That is the same age as Justin Trudeau is now. At any rate the interview was to promote her new book, The Time of Your Life, about growing old as  a woman in Canada. But the last two minutes or so made the headline story.

Sounding off on the end of CanCon and the CRTC

I guess with the recent decision to axe all cancon requirements for daytime programming in Canada, the CRTC is crawling toward its own irrelevance. Let’s not be naive, Canadian culture is that much more weakened without the protection it partially enjoyed from American influence. With much less Canadian culture left to protect, and with Canadian voices now playing a smaller role in Canadian media, the CRTC really has less of a job to do these days.

To be more level here, one needs to be reminded that the CRTC kept the Cancon requirements for prime time. In addition, the CRTC cites the fact that television must now compete alongside streaming video, and the world-wide web for quite possibly the same viewers who listen and view “content” from just about anywhere and everywhere.

If I watch a video on YouTube, I am usually not aware whether or not the video is Canadian content or not. Sometimes there are clues, and sometimes the video is so famous that its country of origin is unmistakeable (Gangam Style, anyone?). There is a certain amount of reality to the CRTC’s concerns. My viewing habits have made much of what the CRTC is doing to make me more part of Canadian culture, irrelevant. But then, I don’t really know for sure, because to be honest, I don’t really check whether the video is CanCon before I see it. Same for websites.

We feared the encroachment of American culture when we set up the CRTC. Back then, radio and TV were the only games in town. Now we have the Internet, and the prospect of entertainment and information being viewed on all household and personal devices. Not all of that is American. I would say most of it is. After all, the USA is the heart of Google, YouTube, Yahoo, NetFlix, and AOL. The other players are not quite so big. Also, the USA accounts for an outsized proportion of the Internet traffic in the world. While 43% of a country’s citizens on average use the Internet, in the US, it is more like 87%.

I would like to think that I get “world” culture when I go online, but I watch British, American and Canadian documentaries, and usually British or American-produced videos on YouTube regarding phenomena in science or math. My online mailing lists consist of Candians and Americans mostly. I wonder now if having a “Canadian voice” can be said to mean anything these days? It used to mean a way to air “my” concerns with “my” voice. Others living in my country would do the same thing. And in sum, it would turn out that our concerns would be distinctively different from concerns across the border. It is healthy to know our common concerns as a culture.

The CRTC needs to be reminded that we must hear ourselves or be lost in the cacophony of other voices that are not our own. That is the only way we can have more confidence sharing our dialogue with the rest of the world, taking pride in our identity.

The disappearance of misc.activism.progressive and the emergence of Thought Crime Radio

Almost four years ago, the articles in the USENET newsgroup misc.activism.progressive ground to a halt, and moderator Rich Winkel has all but disappeared from the USENET, whom I learn resided in Harrisburg (up until 2010, at least), a half hour or so drive from his former employer, the University of Missouri. He is now a […] […]

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In Memoriam – Part 2

Here is a link to the start of this series if you haven’t read it yet. Lauren Bacall (12 Aug). She appeared in several movies alongside Humphrey Bogart. She was 89. Oscar de la Renta (20 Oct). Fashion designer, dead at 82. Dr. Ronald Colapinto (3 Jan). Toronto surgeon best known for developing an intervention which spared many […] […]

Go to article In Memoriam – Part 2

In Memoriam 2014 – Part 1

Well, this post may well need to be broken up into a few parts due to the number of people I had heard about who had passed away this year. This year also marks the 100th anniversary of the end of World War I. Phil Everly (Jan 3), one half of the influential vocal duo The […] […]

Go to article In Memoriam 2014 – Part 1

SJ: New, improved and updated

This blog has been flaky since an incident happened which caused this blog to be relocated to another server. However, After about two solid days of work trying to fix much of its brokenness (especially the audio/video), things are pretty much all fixed. There are still problems whenever a link to a video for streaming […] […]

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All-time top-10

This top 10 music list is inspired by a YouTube video. The problem with the video was that it didn’t seem to be going for what was really all-time status; it seemed to be aimed at people whose memories go back no more than 20 years. That is, so long as we trust The Beatles, […] […]

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In a world where all noise are created equal VI: “Christmas” music

Only 5 days to Christmas, and you need some music. Let me help out … It’s that time of year again, and here are some musical genres listed at Every Noise at Once that have “Christmas” in the names: celtic christmas This is a good, Irish-influenced way to hear Xmas music: Clannad, The Chieftans, Enya, … christian christmas  As opposed […] […]

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In a world where all noise are created equal V: “Black” music …?

Music genres with “Black” in the names … atmospheric black metal black death black metal black sludge black thrash blackgaze chaotic black metal dark black metal depressive black metal more symphonic black metal pagan black metal raw black metal symphonic black metal unblack metal […]

Go to article In a world where all noise are created equal V: “Black” music …?

In a world where all noise are created equal IV: names that sound like something else …

If you thought long enough about these names, they would have other (non-musical) connotations. Just sayin’. And yes, there are people who claim these genres really exist. big room bouncy house catstep charred death corrosion deathgrind deep chill deep house deep liquid experimental psych fake fallen angel full on funeral doom  If it was my funeral, I wouldn’t care future garage goregrind gothic doom guidance hands up hard alternative  Then, is it worth my while? hauntology jerk lowercase microhouse minimal wave nordic house power […] […]

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In a world where all noise are created equal III: Absurdly obtuse genre names

Whether due to the fusion of too many genres or names which relegate the band to certain obscurity, these are ones I chose which I cannot even imagine what the sound must be like. To know, the website Every Noise at Once gives sound samples of most bands and genres they list. alternative new age ambient psychill  Most […] […]

Go to article In a world where all noise are created equal III: Absurdly obtuse genre names

If operating systems were airlines (a compilation)

If Operating Systems Were Airlines is a popular article that predates the web, and was first seen in Usenet in the 1980s. Over time, it has undergone several revisions all over the internet. Here is a compilation as far as I can do. Most of this is sourced from webaugur.com. But there has been other […] […]

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In a world where all noise are created equal II: Futile Reinvention

Here is a list of names of genres that appear as futile attempts at reinvention of existing genres: abstract hip hop chaotic hardcore brutal deathcore deep disco Contradiction in terms deeper house There are a raft of genres preceded by the adjective “deeper” which seem to exist. disco polo folk-prog folk punk geek folk geek rock grave wave A genre that admits that new wave is dead. hard stoner rock math […] […]

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In a world where all noise are created equal I: Genres I know nothing about

The website everynoise.com deals in some way with plotting the musical classification categories of all music that exists (to which they are aware) on their web page. The next few articles form a small sample of the nearly 1500 genres listed. On that website, if you click on a genre, you are given a sound […] […]

Go to article In a world where all noise are created equal I: Genres I know nothing about

What I liked about Robin Williams

Robin Williams was a great comedian, whose greatest strengths lay in ad-libbing. It is said that the writers for Mork and Mindy left intentional gaps in the script so that Robin could fill it in with his lightning-fast ad-libbing. He played very funny characters on stage and TV, but he also played very warm, but serious […] […]

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In memoriam 2009 (what the heck)

I had something else in mind when I compiled this list of people who passed away back in 2009. For the heck of it, I am posting some “interesting” people who died that year (not in any particular order): Les Paul – Guitarist and maker of guitars. Inventor of the electric guitar. Rock wouldn’t have […] […]

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Alex Jones and his nutty ideas

As you may have known, I have a thing for loonies in that I find their stuff so entertaining. Alex Jones is neither a lefty, nor is he right-wing. He’s nothing more than a conspiracy nutjob, pure and undiluted by rational thought, although there is the occasional flash of bright light which gets quickly clouded […] […]

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Critique of the “Mindblowing Fact” video on income inequality

The video in question  is quite “mind-blowing” as promised, indeed, at over 13 million hits, it can even be called “viral”, but there are problems in how it presents and handles facts and references. While I don’t have a problem with the facts, and I am quite certain they are based on serious numbers, the […] […]

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The Chances of Winning the Lotto

Winning the lottery is how many people believe they will become financially secure in their lives. In fact, about one person in 4 believe  this. The chances of winning a lottery like the Massachusetts Megabucks lotto or the Ontario Lotto 6-49 are based in the idea that, out of 49 numbers available, you choose 6 numbers […] […]

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Rob Ford and His Continued Support

Etobicoke. People in hard times. Yeah, there are good parts of this Toronto borough, but huge parts of it are run-down and filling up with down-and-outers looking to make a buck any way they can. People in hard times, closed shops and factories, low rates of literacy, and not much money to spend. After decades of […] […]

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